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Missouri (DESE) MAT Alternative Certification program for Teacher Certification

The following Columbia College admissions requirements must be completed before being considered for the MAT Alternative Certification Program:

  • A baccalaureate degree (3.0 minimum overall GPA) from an accredited college or university. The degree must include general education coursework the Office of the Registrar determines sufficiently meets Columbia College standards.
  • A passing score on the appropriate Missouri Content Assessment (MoCA). See below for certification areas offered through Columbia College. 
  • Application to the MAT Alternative Certification Program through the Graduate Studies application.

Note: The MAT Alternative Certification program is available in Columbia (day or evening), Lake of the Ozarks and St. Louis. Graduate-level certification courses are available in seat in Columbia. 

Benefits of the MAT Alternative Certification Program:

  • Students admitted to the MAT Alternative Certification program are not required to take content area coursework required for our post-baccalaureate certification programs. This can save time and money.
  • Students admitted to the MAT Alternative Certification program may be eligible to be hired on a Provisional Certificate. Student teaching may be optional for these students. For more information on the Provisional certificate, contact the certification officer in the Education Department. 
  • Upon completion of the MAT Alternative certification requirements, students are recommended to DESE for their Initial teaching certificate for Missouri.
  • Graduate-level coursework completed for certification purposes can be applied to the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree.

Columbia College has been approved for MAT Alternative Certification programs in the following areas: 

Art K-12

Music K-12

Middle School Language Arts

Middle School Math

Middle School Science

Middle School Social Studies

Secondary Biology

Secondary Business

Secondary Chemistry

Secondary English

Secondary Math

Secondary Social Science

Secondary Speech/Theatre

Financial Aid 

Many non-traditional teacher certification students qualify for federal financial aid. To apply, submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at FAFSA.gov. Alternative Certification students submitting the FAFSA must complete the following questions as listed below:

Question #29: "What will your grade level be?" - students must answer "5th year/other undergraduate"

Question #30: "What degree or certificate?" - students must answer "Teaching Credential Program"

Question #47: "Are you a masters or doctorate student?" - students must answer "No"

Failure to answer the questions as described above will affect the financial aid eligibility for alternative certification students.

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